Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Disclaimer

 

 

Background Check Process

The Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) Act of 2014 sought to make child care safer by ensuring that the adults working with or in proximity to children have not committed violent crimes, child abuse, or sexual offenses. The new federal laws require Wisconsin to establish and manage a system of background checks that will apply to all regulated child care providers. DCF currently conducts background checks on all applicants for a child care license and any household members.

In fall 2018, the following changes began to be implemented for all regulated child care programs:

  • Certified Providers - DCF will assume responsibility for conducting background checks and making eligibility determinations for new certification applications and new individuals (prospective household members/employees) beginning on or after 10/1/18.
  • Licensed Providers - DCF will conduct checks on all employees who will begin working in a school-operated license exempt or a licensed child care center on or after 10/1/2018. 

For more information on how the background check system will affect your program, please see the appropriate section below.

Licensed Providers

Once the new process is implemented, requests will be made through the Child Care Provider Portal under the center’s access. The person requesting the check will be given instructions to follow to submit a fingerprint scan through FieldPrint. The results of the scan will be sent directly to the Caregiver Background Unit (CBU), which will review the findings and make a preliminary eligibility finding. If the individual is determined to be eligible based on the background check, the person may begin residing or working at the child care program under supervision until all the results have been reviewed and a final eligibility determination has been made.

Centers will continue to do annual name-based check on current employees. At some point in the future, DCF will notify programs when DCF will begin taking over the background checks on existing employees. The process for adding a person as a household member or for applicants/licensees will remain the same as it currently is.

DCF has prepared a Background Check Requirements Presentation to provide more detail on the upcoming process.

The following is a list of potential questions and answers regarding the new process.

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Prospective Employee/Provider in Licensed Child Care

DCF will conduct background checks on all employees who will begin working in a licensed program(s) on or after October 1, 2018.

The following is a list of potential questions and answers regarding the new process for prospective child care workers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Certified Providers

DCF will begin conducting background checks and making eligibility determinations for new and prospective certification applications received on or after October 1, 2018, and for any new individuals (prospective household members/employees/caregivers) added to an existing program on or after October 1, 2018. The Department will begin conducting background checks for existing operators/HHMs/caregivers in summer 2019.

The following is a list of potential questions and answers regarding the new background check process for certified child care providers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Role Chart - Certification Applicants/Operators

The table below is not an exhaustive list of roles in certified child care, but is meant to provide examples and additional clarification regarding who is subject to the initial and 5-year FBI check and the annual DOJ background check.

Role FBI
(Initial & 5 Year)
Annual
DOJ Check
Applicant/Operator Yes Yes
Adult Household Member Yes Yes
Minor Household Member (unless concern warrants criminal check) No No
Substitute Yes Yes
Caregiver Employees (providers/assistants/directors/lead teachers) Yes Yes
Emergency Back-up Provider No No
Contracted transportation service/van driver who provides regular transportation to/from child care program (contracted by the operator), but who is not a caregiver Yes No
Periodic parent volunteer assisting operator during special events/field-trips No No
Housecleaner (contractor) who provides cleaning services at the home during hours of operation, but who is not a caregiver Yes No
Housecleaner (contractor) providing cleaning services after hours of operation No No
Birth to Three or other therapists who provide services to a child in the child care program, but who are not employees of or contracted by the operator No No

 

Higher Education Entities

DCF will conduct background checks and make eligibility determinations on all prospective practicum students who will begin working in a licensed or certified child care center on or after October 1, 2018. Below are links to a memo and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) providing information about these changes as it pertains to practicum students.

Frequently Asked Questions - Regulated Provider Background Checks

Memo 2018-19 - Higher Education Entities and Background Check Updates Memo

Child Care Contractors

DCF will conduct background checks and make eligibility determinations on all prospective employees, including contracted employees, who will begin working in a licensed or certified child care center on or after October 1, 2018. Below are links to a memo and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) providing information about these changes as it pertains to contracted employees.

Frequently Asked Questions - Regulated Provider Background Checks

Memo 2018-18 - Child Care Center Contractors and Background Check Updates Memo

Scheduling a Fieldprint Scan Appointment

Read the instructions regarding how to schedule a Fieldprint scan appointment.

Child Care Background Check Computer-Based Training

Background Check Checklists

Use these handy checklists to ensure that you follow all of the required background check steps.